Recently I read “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone, where he talks about why and how Amazon survived and thrived while so many companies crashed and burned in the dot com bust of 2000 and the Lehman crisis of 2008.

He talks about Jeff Bezos’s long-term thinking.  Bezos always saw Amazon as a multi-decade project and believed that he could accomplish a huge amount with a longer time frame if he was steady about it.

I believe we should approach our careers the same way. Careers today can span 50 years – most of us will continue to contribute well into our 70s.

With 50 years, we need to plan our careers as a marathon and not a sprint.

Let us view our résumé as a modular set of skills that when assembled, will be greater than the sum of its parts.

We can explore lateral roles in Learning and Development, Technology, Finance, People Management, etc. We may find functions where we excel, that we had never considered, leading to an alternate career path.

Or, the diverse skill set can help us become entrepreneurs at age 50 and beyond, with 25 years to devote to building a great company.

Or we could become artists or teachers or social entrepreneurs who change the world.

The point is we have many, many years to achieve all our dreams. We have to only plan with patience.

Taking the long view while planning the next two years in detail, can become a liberating way to achieve our dreams.

By : Rajani Seshadri for ZEUS


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